The Attributes of God: The Decrees of God

“The decree of God is his purpose or determination with respect to future things.” (Pink, p.15)

Open Theism is a position held by some that deals with the knowledge of future things.  Moderate Open Theists will claim that God knows the future, but voluntarily limits His knowledge of the “free choices” of man to preserve man’s freedom.  Hyper Open Theists claim that the future is unknowable, even by God, because the future is non-existent.  Both of these positions are unbiblical and problematic for numerous reasons, which we will soon see.

In my first installment, one of the characteristics of God that was listed was God’s eternal nature. Eternity is no respecter of the dimension of time. Therefore, God is not bound by time.  “In the beginning, God…” (Gen. 1:1a)  He eternally exists outside of time and has created time.  This remains to be a difficult reality for us to grasp because our very existence is bound in time and in many ways defined by it. We are limited by the Limitless One.

God has disclosed to us in His Word that He acts according to the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).  He consults no one about His will and He has purposed to glorify Himself in all that He decrees.  He will not let the exaltation of His Name ultimately be left in the hands of creatures.  Because He is eternal, His decrees are eternal.  With respect to His decree, we see this most clearly in the death of Christ.  The LORD spoke through Isaiah in the 53rd chapter,

10Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes
an offering for guilt, 

It was the will of the LORD to crush him. It was the decree of God the Father to crush His Son, Jesus, for the atonement of His people. Luke records for us in Acts 2:22-23, 

22“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

The crucifixion of Jesus was according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, though done by the hands of lawless men.  God decreed Jesus’ death and the method by which he would die before time, and in time Jesus died exactly how the Father decreed it.  God always accomplishes His will. 

* To say God doesn’t know the future is to deny God’s omniscience.

* To say God doesn’t know the future is to deny God’s omnipresence. 

* To say God doesn’t decree all things is to deny His sovereignty, wisdom and omnipotency.

To believe in that kind of god leaves us hopeless and living in a world predicated by fate and chance. 

Believer, continually be comforted by Romans 8:28.


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